Step 4: Calf Raises
Strong calves are extremely important for finishing your jump and are important for quick, on the spot jumping needed for snagging rebounds, tipping in missed shots or blocking the shots of quick shooters.
This extremely basic exercise is an effective method for strengthening this area of your lower leg. Calf Raises also helps to strengthen the Achilles tendon and strengthens the muscles on the top part of your foot which will help to prevent ankle sprains.
For this exercise, you will need either a thick book (about 4 inches thick), a cinder block or a stair step.
While standing straight up, simply place the ball of one foot (keep the other leg elevated) on the book, block or stair step and let your heel hang over the edge. Your entire body weight will be resting on the planted foot which will be extending and stretching your calf downward. (Since you will be standing on one leg, you will need to balance yourself either by holding on to a chair in front of you or by holding on to the stair rail beside of you).
Next, slowly raise yourself up on your toes as high as you can using only your calf muscle and then slowly lower yourself back down so your heel is below the edge of what you are standing on. You will be back in the original position which you started.
This complete movement is 1 repetition.
When you have completed the required repetitions for 1 calf, simply switch calves and complete the exact repetitions for the other one. Completing the repetitions required for each calf completes 1 set.
Step 1: Your starting position will be with your heel below the book or stair step.
Step 2: Slowly raise yourself as high up as you can with only the one calf.
Step 3: Lower your body back to the original, starting position. This completes 1 repetition.
When you complete the repetitions for 1 calf, simply switch and complete the repetitions for the other one. This completes 1 set.
Rest about 25 seconds between sets.